Are You Traveling to Florida?

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Florida is a southern state in the United States by the ocean with a lot of coastal beaches like South Beach with the art deco and a lot of tourist attractions. It is my favorite state. There are other coastal states with beaches, but Florida is the most famous. This article is about traveling to Florida.

There are more different kinds of fish in Florida's water than anywhere else in the world. The fresh water lakes and rivers are filled with fish, and the ocean water contains many kinds of fish also. Florida has the most egrets, herons, and pelicans north of the Caribbean Sea. There are alligators in the swamps.

Miami, in Dade County, is a famous resort city. Miami's largest industry is the tourists. The city can accommodate many visitors at the same time. Miami Beach has thousands of apartment buildings and hotels that are open all year long with lower costs in the summer. Many of the hotels are very luxurious. The white sand beaches, palm trees, tropical climate, and recreational areas attract millions of tourists to Miami every year. Many retired people in the United States move to Miami because of the healthy climate there.

The Florida Keys are a group of small islands that are made out of coral reef formations. The Keys begin at Biscayne Bay and stretch out into the Gulf of Mexico. They are connected to the mainland by an overseas highway that is more than a hundred miles long. The Keys have many tourist attractions, including beautiful beaches. Key West is the farthest Florida Key away from the mainland and it is the Southernmost point of the United States. Key West is also the only place in the United States that has just the right tropical climate to grow key limes.

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Shopping in Kuala Lumpur – Malls, Bazaars and Flea Markets

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Kuala Lumpur ranks as one of the top shopping destinations in Asia. As all budgets are catered for, you will be enticed to shop till you drop! You can also expect both a fantastic variety of products as well as value for money. From designer labels to home-grown brands, even the discerning shopper will be spoiled for choice. But you may like to bring home something typically Malaysian, in which case, spare some time to shop for ethnic crafts. A wide range can be found at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex and the Central Market.

Among the recommended items are batik (hand-painted or in block motifs available in traditional and contemporary designs, available as pareos, sarongs, scarves, shirts or dresses); songket (cloth intricately handwoven with silver or gold thread); silver items (jewellery, tableware and other home adornments); pewterware (various decorative and functional items); woodcarvings (aboriginal); pottery and ceramic (the choice is mind-boggling, but look out for Sarawak pottery or the Perak labu sayong); and weaved products (from practical bags to trinket boxes).

Places to shop include countless spick-and-span shopping complexes, duty-free shops, department stores, hypermarkets and handicraft centres to make-shift stalls and open-air night markets. Almost all shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur open for business from 10am till 10pm daily, public holidays included.

While the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival which runs from July to September and the Malaysia Savings Sale in December draw hordes of shoppers from around the region with offers of up to 70% discount on store products, you can still find bargains and sales at independent retailers outside scheduled sale carnivals.

Besides larger malls such as Berjaya Times Square, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Suria KLCC and those at the Bukit Bintang and Imbi area, many shopping complexes and departmental stores also offer economical buys such as Pertama Complex, Sogo Departmental Store, Kota Raya and Campbell Complex.

Then there are the numerous shops, flea markets, bazaars and side street stalls, notably dotting Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Masjid India (Little India), Brickfields (another Little India), Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Petaling (Chinatown), Plaza Mont Kiara and even the Sunday Night Market on Jalan Telawi in Bangsar.

On Saturday nights, Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman is closed to vehicles and transformed into a bright and bustling night market with hundreds of stalls selling a gamut of products from foodstuff to leather goods.

Jalan Petaling Night Market in Chinatown sizzles every night while on Sundays, the Pasar Minggu Kampung Baru (Kampung Baru Sunday Market) turns into a treasure trove of shopping delights with local colours, sights and sounds. Below are the major shopping malls in the city:

AMPANG PARK

Jalan Memanda 3, Ampang

Ampang Park is the oldest mall in Kuala Lumpur, and also happens to be the grand dame of bargain buys, especially for electronics and electrical products as well as ethnic clothes. The bazaar-like atmosphere of its shops and stalls that line its corridors make for an interesting visit.

AVENUE K

156 Jalan Ampang

Avenue K is a top-end lifestyle mall with eight levels, designed for retail and leisurely pursuits. It’s the place to shop for international brands and local labels.

BANGSAR SHOPPING CENTRE

285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar

Located in the heart of one of Kuala Lumpur’s posh suburbs, BSC is the place to shop, dine and most importantly, to be seen. The Cold Storage supermarket here stocks a fair amount of foreign foodstuff which is often hard to come by at your regular supermarket. The mall is also home to the Actors’ Studio, one of the country’s most definitive stage performance companies. You can catch seasoned and budding actors performing regularly at the studio.

BANGSAR VILLAGE I & II

Jalan Ara, Bangsar

The complex is spacious and its anchor tenant The Village Grocer attracts many shoppers with reasonably priced fresh fruit and vegetables and other supermarket items. F&B outlets there are cool places to hang out. Shops sell varied items, making the complex vastly popular in vibrant Bangsar.

BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE

1 Jalan Imbi

Berjaya Times Square offers over 500 retail shops. Foodies will be pampered by over 100 choices of cafes, restaurants, bistros and fast-food outlets. Its major attraction, Cosmo’s World, the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia, is a stand alone theme park with an abundant variety of entertainment and thrilling rides catering to all ages. Cosmo’s World also houses one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world.

BB PLAZA

111 Jalan Bukit Bintang

Located adjacent and connected at all floors to Sungei Wang Plaza, BB Plaza houses some of the more notable tenants which are shoppers’ favourites. These include the Metrojaya departmental store and several jewellers lined at its entrance. Al fresco cafes at its entrance offer shoppers a welcome respite from the busier pursuits of shopping.

CAMPBELL COMPLEX

Jalan Campbell

A compact spot that’s great for watches and men’s shoes at affordable prices.

CENTRAL MARKET

Jalan Hang Kasturi

Once the city’s busiest wet market, Central Market was dramatically transformed in the late 70s to become one of the topmost destinations to hunt for souvenirs and local arts and crafts. Here, tourists will get to soak in the artistic and cultural aspects of Malaysian life as artists ply their skills. Batik and craft shops provide a great shopping experience.

GREAT EASTERN MALL

Jalan Ampang

Located along the prime “Embassy Row” of Jalan Ampang, the mall is home to many specialty stores, including British India and Guess as well as designer cafes like Starbucks. Cold Storage Supermarket is its anchor tenant.

KL PLAZA

Jalan Bukit Bintang

For up-market buys, head for KL Plaza, home to luxury watch shops, jewelers and beauty salons. The famed Planet Hollywood is located here. Several al fresco eateries along the Bintang Walk belt offer great food and entertainment.

KOTA RAYA COMPLEX

Jalan Cheng Lock

A bargain hunters’ haven, Kota Raya Complex, located across from KL’s Chinatown, has a wonderful selection of gifts and trinket shops that are just as colourful as they are varied. This is also a favouriete hang-out spot for Filipinas on Sundays.

KUALA LUMPUR CRAFT COMPLEX

Jalan Conlay

The complex showcases quality Malaysian handicrafts in both contemporary and traditional designs. There is a large collection of locally produced batik, songket, wood carvings, rattan trinkets and pewter products. There is a Do-It-Yourself Batik-making corner with resident batik makers on hand to assist tourists. At the Artists Colony, tourists get to mingle with local artists and learn about their craft.

LOT 10

50 Jalan Sultan Ismail

Boasting an eye-catching green facede, Lot 10 is a popular haunt for both local and foreign shoppers with Isetan as anchor tenant. It caters for the average income as well as the wealthy. As part of the Bintang Walk area, it also has several al fresco eateries and cafes along its immediate surroundings.

LOW YAT PLAZA

Off Jalan Bukit Bintang

Fronting BB Park, Low Yat Plaza is dedicated to IT products such as computers, laptops and peripherals. It also has a good measure of camera shops, fashion and leather goods stores.

MAJU JUNCTION MALL

1001 Jalan Sultan Ismail

Strategically located at the busy junction of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Sultan Ismail, the mall attracts discerning shoppers with its specialty fashion stores such as Wh by British India and Nichi Fashion City. Besides a food court, it also has an indoor archery centre.

MID VALLEY MEGAMALL

Lingkaran Syed Putra

Mid Valley Megamall offers 5km of shopping, leisure and dining outlets. With more than 430 shops, the mall is also home to three retailing giants, namely, Carrefour, Jaya Jusco and Metrojaya. It also houses a Cineplex, state-of-the-art bowling centre and a one-stop IT centre. If you need to refuel after all that glorious shopping, there’s a whole world of culinary delights just waiting for you. From chic-bistros to fast-food outlets and food courts, they are all teeming to satisfy any tastebud.

PICCOLO GALLERIA

Jalan Bukit Bintang

A medium-sized shopping galleria sandwiched between Lot 10 and KL Plaza, Picollo Galleria adopts Italian shopping ambience with specialty stores offering lifestyle fashion products and art pieces. Ristorante L’Opera, a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine located on the ground floor, is one of the most popular places at Bintang Walk.

PERTAMA COMPLEX

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman

Though Pertama Complex is one of the oldest shopping complexes in KL, it still has a faithful following of shoppers due to its reasonably priced products, ranging from telecommunication devices to leatherwear such as Cowboy boots and jackets.

SOGO DEPARTMENTAL STORE

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman

Located on busy Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Sogo offers a wide range of merchandise with prices ranging from high-end to mid-range. The centre has a well-stocked department store, supermarket, bookshop, restaurants, food court and offices.

PAVILION KUALA LUMPUR

Jalan Bukit Bintang

Consisting of seven levels, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur boats of more than 450 stores offering some of the world’s renown brand names. Shoppers are spoiled for choice in terms of fashion, food and urban leisure.

STARHILL GALLERY

Jalan Bukit Bintang

Undoubtedly one of the classiest malls in the city, Starhill offers a great selection of top-end designer labels and luxury watches. There is also a great selection of spa and beauty treatments on its Pamper Floor.

SUNGEI WANG PLAZA

Jalan Sultan Ismail

Having the biggest concentration of hair and beauty saloons among the city’s malls, Sungei Wang Plaza offers almost 500 stores offering almost everything under the sun at affordable prices. The complex is anchored by Parkson Grand. Its main entrance is lined with several interesting eateries. It’s the kind of place that shoppers keep returning to.

SURIA KLCC

Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

Jalan Ampang

Suria KLCC is an up-market shopping destination with hundreds of shops offering a wide range of goods and services that pamper the needs of shoppers – from fashion, entertainment, arts and culture, to local delicacies and international cuisines. The mall is surrounded by hotels, office buildings, a scenic park and dancing fountains. Its anchor tenants include Isetan, Parkson Grand and Tanjong Golden Village.

THE MALL

Jalan Putra

Located across from the Putra World Trade Centre, The Mall is a relatively large mall with a penchant for leather shops and boutiques. The Parkson department store is its anchor tenant. It also has a Malaccan-themed food court on its top floor.

THE WELD

76 Jalan Raja Chulan

A pleasant medium-sized mall, The Weld has an assortment of shops from bookstores to watch shops, a pharmacy and also a ladies’ wellness centre. Several eateries are located at its concourse area.

Flea markets are great places for browsing or to shop for exotic jewellery, household items, second-hand books, ceramics and other bric-a-brac. The main flea markets in Kuala Lumpur are listed below:

Bangsar Utama Flea Market

Kompleks Niaga Utama

Bangsar Utama

Daily: 10am-10pm

Sat-Sun: 10am-8pm

Amcorp Mall

Jalan Timor, Petaling Jaya

Daily: 10am-4pm

Sat-Sun: 11am-3pm

Carnival Flea Market, BB Park

Jalan Bukit Bintang

Daily: 10am-4pm

Central Market, Jalan Kasturi

Daily: 10am-8pm

KL Arts Market (Laman Seni)

National Art Gallery

Jalan Tun Razak

First Saturday of the Month: 8am-5pm

Little India, Jalan Masjid India

Daily: 8am-10pm

Mont’ Kiara Craft Mart

Plaza Mont’ Kiara

Sundays: 10am-6pm

Sogo Flea Market, Ground Floor

Sogo Shopping Centre

First Sunday of the Month: 11am-7pm

Souk Al-Tar, Maju Junction Mall

Daily: 10am-10pm

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Women Travel Solo: How to Find Your Next Destination

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A lot of women travel solo or alone nowdays. One of the dilemmas that they may face is looking for the next destination to travel to. For those who love to travel, the process of looking for the next travel stop could be the one that takes the most time. It may take some time when deciding where to go to next, especially when it looks like the people have been to almost everywhere. There are actually a lot of destinations to go to, both local spots and international ones.

There are a few things to consider when looking for a place to go to when traveling. When women travel solo, you might find it important to look for a place that is women-friendly. You do not need to, cause I know a lot of women that go anywhere, but they are the more experienced ones. You better not start there. There are places that may not be so open to women traveling by themselves so it would be best to do some background research at first. It pays to have detailed information about the different places that a women may want to go to so that the choices will be narrowed down. It may help to have a list of destinations that would the traveler would like to go to.

Other things that women travel solo should consider would be the budget. There are people who may only have a limited budget, so international destinations could have been out of the question already. This would confine the traveler to local destinations (or nearer international places). There is no need to worry as there are bound to be great destinations in every country. Another thing to consider is the length of the stay. There are destinations that may be more conducive only for a couple of days while there are also destinations that require a traveler to stay for a longer period. Women travel solo should do their research work beforehand.

There are those who may want to browse through travel magazines or websites to check what places would strike their fancy. They usually have great suggestions for next destinations and they could even give the travelers an idea as to how much would the whole trip cost. This could then help the travelers to check their funds. They will be able to prepare for the trip when they know more or less how much will they be spending for the entire trip. It is better to be prepared and have a basis as to how much will be sent rather than go to a place and have no money at all.

There's also the question what culture you would like to see? Read about it and see if it really interests you.

To summarize everything, when women travel alone, here are the things to consider: the budget, the destination, culture and the time. There are destinations that would be great to go to on certain times of the year, especially in time for festivals. It helps to do some research first because it would help a traveler to prepare and to check if the trip would be worth it. Choosing the next destination requires preparation so that everything will be smooth sailing. Itineraries could also be prepared so that everything is set and nothing is missed out.

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Your Guide to Rio De Janeiro

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Due to its size, the climate can change considering between regions so you should take this into account when planning a multi-centred holiday. Winter in southern Brazil can be cold, so it's best to avoid this area between June and September unless you want to pack your jumpers! The north-east is simply too hot to have a winter, and the Amazon has a mixture of dry and wet seasons. It's worth remembering that the seasons in the southern hemisphere are the opposite of those in the US and Canada so, it is a perfect destination to escape the wild winters of the Northern Hemisphere.

When to go …

Rio de Janeiro has a reliably tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. The city's high season is from December to March, with the world famous Carnival taking place in February.

What to do …

Rio is one of those cities that you simply have to see to believe. Photographs of the Sugarloaf, Carnival and Christ the Redeemer simply do not do this great city justice. By day, Rio is a rather laid back city. Take a stroll along the beach and wake yourself up with a glass of just-squeezed fruit juice before taking a cable car up the Sugarloaf to see one of the most iconic views in the world, a vista which takes in mountains, the sea, forests and of course, the 123-foot statement of Christ the Redeemer which stands on the top of Corcovado Hill overlooking the city below.

Relax on the beach or in the Botanical gardens. Jardim Botanico is home to 7000 different plant species, covers 140 hectares and is the perfect place to relax. Or you can take a trip to the Tijuca Rainforest, the world's largest urban rainforest.

Accommodation

When it comes to finding a place to stay, there are rooms to suit all budgets. If you're looking for a spot of luxury, Fasano on Ipanema Beach is the place for you. This designer hotel provides a sophisticated place to relax. If a quiet guesthouse is more your kind of thing, Casa Beleza has just two rooms, two suites, a small pool and shady gardens, with monkeys and a turtle.

Getting Around

In Rio, taxis are cheap and plentiful, and an online fee finder is available online. City buses offer travelers another cheap alternative to get around the city although it is advisable only to use buses during the day.

If you'd rather drive your way around the city, there are rental options. Cars are available from Tom Jobim International Airport and Santos Dumont National Airport through companies including Avis, Hertz and Brazilian companies Unidas and Localiza. Car rental in Brazil can be quite expensive, and parking in Rio can be difficult, but the choice is yours.

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